Do you believe in life after Brexit? Leo Varadkar does, having expressed the hope that the Great British Clear-Off would be done and dusted by November 1 and that he would thus be free to attend Cher’s 3Arena performance.
A UK general election has put the London omnishambles slightly on the long-finger. But for Cher, at least, the show was destined to go on. Aged 73, the Sixties folk singer turned Eighties Oscar winner swept into town and whipped up a camp extravaganza. Vegas-level outrageous and unapologetically kitsch, the gig was a showpiece both for her epic voice and her even more epic defiance of the ageing process.
The fabulousness started early and rarely relented. Cher materialised suspended above the crowd in a gilded cage. Below, dancers dressed as Roman legionaries – their outfits may not have been entirely historically accurate – stomped and preened.
Was Leo somewhere among us lapping it up? Social media did not pick him out. But if he was he surely enjoyed himself – at least until Cher returned in a platinum wig (he’s probably had more than enough of outrageous blond show-offs lately)
Cher at any rate was having the best time. She sang, rambled about her 40th birthday and her admiration for Graham Norton (you feared she had briefly mistaken us for the latest leg of her UK tour) and glared down from atop an animatronic elephant, though thankfully she didn’t attempt all three at once.
She was also careful to tick off the boxes as she whistled through her career. The late Sonny Bono appeared in video form to accompany her on I Got You Babe. She then squeezed in a mini-Abba celebration – just what the punters wanted – and paid tribute to Elvis with the Graceland nostalgia outpouring Walking In Memphis.
But of course it was the hits that the exuberant attendees truly craved and these she delivered too. Cher freewheeled through the Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) – introduced via a video of her playing Winona Ryder’s wacky mother in Mermaids – and then threw herself into the protean pop-rock of If I Could Turn Back Time.
The encore was obviously reserved for 1998 mega-smash Believe, originally recorded as a valentine to her gay fanbase. It lit a belated Halloween firecracker under the room and, as the embers rained down, singer and audience sparkled together.